Leeching off friends? March 10 2014, 0 Comments
We've been tying up some leeches. Old patterns, new patterns, combinations of different patterns. Generally, just stocking up for the season to come. Every now and then, it doesn't hurt to try something different.
If you've ever bought a partridge skin, or similar, you'll notice that some feathers have smaller fluffy feathers attached to their shaft. These are known as aftershaft feathers, and you generally can't buy them on their own. They're usually seen as throwaway, as they're often quite small, and hard to work with. But if you take your time, you can tie the most incredible flies with them. The leech pictured has the best movement of anything I've ever tied. You just have to look at it, and it out leeches real leeches. I wouldn't be surprised if this thing catches leeches as well... In any case, it has amazing movement in the water and a great small profile.
I use two or three small feathers for the tail and additional bulk to the body (use nice wide wraps of thread to secure), and then another 2-3 feathers to palmer a body. Try some yourself - they're cheap, fairly quick, and will be one of the best patterns you've ever tried...
Aftershaft leech tied in natural partridge colour. For scale, head to tail is less than 1 inch.